When it comes to our singleness, we usually ask God certain questions and wait (im)patiently for the answers.
These questions reveal our pains, doubts, hopes, and expectations. We wait for the answers unsure and scared of whether we’ll be able to handle them. These questions are part of having a relationship with God and they show what’s in our hearts at any given moment. While many of us may be frustrated at our unanswered prayers, there’s one question I believe we should be asking God.
First, let’s go through the typical questions many of us have asked God about our singleness.
Whether you have a list or are praying for a David, we imagine that certain someone who will come into our lives and change our last name. In middle school, I crushed hard on a Jordan Catalano look-alike who I was too scared to talk to. As a freshman in high school, I fell hard for a blue-eyed boy with the most gorgeous eyelashes I had ever seen. In college, there was a mystery guy named Shepherd who magnetized me with his dark eyes and Dan, a tatted, Emo guy with glasses. But none of them became my “One”. In the valley moments of our singleness, we can wonder if a godly man will ever come into our lives although statistics say 80% of Americans will eventually marry. My pessimistic heart is often sure I’ll fall into that 20% of never married.
Have you wondered about the man you’ll marry? Maybe he was an unrequited crush or a long-term relationship that ended in heartbreak. Yet, still, you wonder who will God bring into your life.
David, a man after God’s heart, asked the question “who” but in a much more different way:
Whom do I have in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. (Psalm 73:24 NASB)
When our desires are out of balance and finding a husband becomes the priority over seeking God, we can fall into the desperation trap. We’ll try missions dating and flirty fishing in order to not be alone. Instead of waiting with confidence, we’ll settle and compromise becoming unequally yoked.
Who you marry is important but even more so is Who you worship.
One of the most frustrating aspects of singleness is our timetables being out of synch with God’s. As the years pass, we ask God, “When will I get married?” As you leave your mid-twenties, we grow anxious that we won’t be chosen as though we have an expiration date like milk in a grocery store.
There’s something to that analogy because as the longer we wait, the more bitter we can become. Our hearts despair and feel a sense of hopelessness.
Waiting is clearly evident in the Bible so we can’t be surprised when we’re called to wait as well. God doesn’t make us wait because we’re horrible people but He works righteousness, healing, grace, and love into our lives. We can see these lessons on waiting from women like Leah, Hannah, and the woman with the issue of blood.
God knows the appointed moments of our lives. He did not give His Son before the fullness of time but at the exact moment in His plan. Waiting without bitterness is a challenge, but ultimately it is trusting in God’s goodness that helps to make it sweet.
Have you ever tried to understand why you’re still single? I’ve wondered if making different life decisions would have changed things. I’ve picked apart my personality thinking that my weaknesses and failures were surely the reasons why I was still single. But marriage isn’t a prize for those who are smarter, godlier, prettier or any of the other answers we try to give ourselves.
The Apostle Paul is clear that marriage isn’t the answer to our problems. In fact, just the opposite is true. If you’re insecure now, you’ll become even more insecure after marriage. Have addictions or can’t manage money wisely? The pressures of marriage will intensify them.
If you grew up on Disney princess movies or binge watch Hallmark Christmas movies you know that the road to love is never smooth but the happily ever after makes it worth it. Yet we never see what happens after the movie ends. Instagram has added to our unsatisfaction of single life with posed pictures of well…perfection. Engagement rings and baby bumps fill our feeds with God’s blessings and my personal feed is filled with cats.
We ask the question “why?” when we’re comparing our lives to others. The comparison trap is one we fall into because it’s as old as the Fall. Didn’t the serpent tempt Adam and Eve with the thought that they didn’t know as much as God did? It was never their purpose to be as omniscient as God but to be in a relationship with Him (individually and as a couple).
That’s why the question we should be asking God is crucial to our single lives.
As we enter into the new year, let’s pray that God will shift our perspective from why we’re single to the question we need to ask God:
How can we use our singleness to bring the His Kingdom to earth?
When I changed the focus of my blog to singleness, I wanted godly singleness to be not just about surrendering my desires but using my singleness for His glory.
We’re only here on earth for a short amount of time in comparison to eternity with Him. How can we use the days we’re given to show His love to others? Where is God calling you to serve? It may be in your home church or your neighborhood or in the mission field.
God has given you gifts and talents that need to be shared. He has made you unique and with a divine purpose.
If you are using your singleness to mentor or organize activities to relieve suffering in your community, I’d love to hear about it and share it with our SDS community! (If you want ideas on how to use your singleness, I’d love to hear from you too!) Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.